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Streaming - how much data does it use?

  • 25-09-2013 9:57am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    I really didn't know where to post this, so mods if you think there's a better place for it where it might gather more info, please feel free to move....

    Basically I'm on a package on my phone with O2, which includes 1GB of data. I regularly tip over this limit, but it's a very small penalty charge, so that's no problem.

    Tonight I want to stream a programme on YouTube which will probably last 1 hour. I have absolutely no idea how much data is used for streaming, apart from "a lot".

    I was just in the process of getting on to O2 to enquire about buying a data bundle as a one-off (but I have no idea what size of a bundle I might need) when they rang me, offering to review my contract and see if they could save me money (nice of them!).

    I was offered a package with 5GB of data, which is actually €2 cheaper than what I currently pay, so I'm all for that, happy days. But if I sign up today, and my programme on YouTube costs me over 5GB of data, then I'm stuck paying €2 per day for the rest of the month. Not the end of the world, but not ideal either. I can get a package with 10GB of data for a tenner extra, and and reduce the data amount at the end of the first month, but again I have no idea how much data the streaming would use.

    So, all you lovely knowledgeable people out there - can anyone advise me how much data streaming from YouTube might use? Or is that a how-long-is-a-piece-of-string question?

    Sorry for the long-winded question - it was much simpler O2 happened to ring me offering me all sorts of complicating options!

    I'm getting a callback this pm, so any info or advice before that would be much appreciated.

    Cheers :)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    Anyone???

    Another angle to come from..... I've watched/streamed the same programme the last few nights using my home wifi. Is there any way of going into my internet usage to see how big those programmes were? I've tried looking for properties on the programme titles on YT, but no joy.

    Someone out there must have SOME idea how these things work :confused::D

    TIA again.....


  • Subscribers Posts: 32,799 ✭✭✭✭ 5starpool


    Depends in the stream quality (lower quality, less data) but for reference a football match (90 mins+) uses about 650mb at least I'd say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    5starpool wrote: »
    Depends in the stream quality (lower quality, less data) but for reference a football match (90 mins+) uses about 650mb at least I'd say.

    Thanks for that :)

    Gives me some idea of what I might need, if indeed I can buy an add-on bundle.


  • Subscribers Posts: 32,799 ✭✭✭✭ 5starpool


    Do you not have a data usage tracking app installed or inbuilt? If not, try something like 3g watchdog which is lightweight but effective. I believe android automatically tracks this anyhow in your settings (does in mine anyhow, but I am on a stock Nexus phone) through the data usage option which tells you how much data you use on each app. What you should do is to note how much data you have used exactly, and then stream 30 or 60 seconds of something in the same quality of what you will be watching for an hour.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    5starpool wrote: »
    Do you not have a data usage tracking app installed or inbuilt? If not, try something like 3g watchdog which is lightweight but effective. I believe android automatically tracks this anyhow in your settings (does in mine anyhow, but I am on a stock Nexus phone) through the data usage option which tells you how much data you use on each app. What you should do is to note how much data you have used exactly, and then stream 30 or 60 seconds of something in the same quality of what you will be watching for an hour.

    This is exactly what I was after!!! I found the data tracker (which has all sorts of disclaimers about your mobile provider may measure usage differently, but however), ran 2 minutes of the replay of what I want to watch, and it used about 9mb. So that's 300-odd mb per hour. Not too bad at all.

    Now, I've one more question (sorry to be so dim about all this!) - how can I confirm that the replay video is of the same quality as the live streaming? Or can I?

    Thanks SO much to all for the help with this - O2, having replied more or less straight away, have now disappeared and I haven't heard from them since :mad:


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  • Subscribers Posts: 32,799 ✭✭✭✭ 5starpool


    HeidiHeidi wrote: »
    This is exactly what I was after!!! I found the data tracker (which has all sorts of disclaimers about your mobile provider may measure usage differently, but however), ran 2 minutes of the replay of what I want to watch, and it used about 9mb. So that's 300-odd mb per hour. Not too bad at all.

    Now, I've one more question (sorry to be so dim about all this!) - how can I confirm that the replay video is of the same quality as the live streaming? Or can I?

    Thanks SO much to all for the help with this - O2, having replied more or less straight away, have now disappeared and I haven't heard from them since :mad:

    When using the youtube app on my phone when a video is playing and I tough the screen (which brings up the menu items and progress bar and so on) I can press the 3 vertical dots for the settings. This brings up a HQ on screen which is the video setting for High Quality or not. It is defaulted to not HQ for me on the samples I tried, but by toggling between them it is obvious which setting is on (the HQ letters become more illuminated and bold looking). I'm not familiar enough with things to know if it defaults to non HQ every time, but if you can get that setting to appear then you can check easily.

    If you are tethering to a laptop/pc and watching from there the desktop version of Youtube can stream in a variety of qualities that you control in the bottom right of the stream, but I'm guessing you would be watching on mobile.

    Hope that helps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    That helps enormously, thank you :)

    I do intend tethering the phone to a laptop to view the programme.

    I finally gave in and rang O2, and got a 7.5GB add-on from O2 for a fiver, which seems like grand value altogether. I still have no idea how much data the stream will use, so the above info regarding checking the quality will be very useful.

    Thanks again :)

    ETA - just to clarify, I wasn't (really) being lazy in not ringing them earlier - I had engaged with them on the "talk to" forum but no response since, and am weary of the million menus and all the hold music you have to negotiate before actually getting to talk to a human. But yet again the old-fashioned route was the one that yielded results.


  • Subscribers Posts: 32,799 ✭✭✭✭ 5starpool


    That's what forums are for :)

    With your add on you can bump the quality a bit too. Just in case you aren't aware, 480 quality is lower than 720, and 1080 is the highest, although the high quality ones are not always available. 240 or 320 is the lowest I think. The gear icon in the desktop one is the quality setting. Enjoy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,357 ✭✭✭ StaticNoise


    Personally, I wouldn't go near O2, as they are very, very pricey, especially for Data.

    If you're really interested, and I am not condoning them here, I'll look at the Sim Only deal from eMobile. It's €32 per month for unlimited everything, including data. They use the Meteor network. I'm on Three, on 3Pay, and I get unlimited internet (possibly limited in speeds after 15GB) and I pay twenty a month.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,103 ✭✭✭✭ HeidiHeidi


    Personally, I wouldn't go near O2, as they are very, very pricey, especially for Data.

    If you're really interested, and I am not condoning them here, I'll look at the Sim Only deal from eMobile. It's €32 per month for unlimited everything, including data. They use the Meteor network. I'm on Three, on 3Pay, and I get unlimited internet (possibly limited in speeds after 15GB) and I pay twenty a month.

    Thanks for that, but the thread was specifically about not getting crippled by charges for streaming a programme this evening. For various reasons I'm not moving from O2 (at the moment anyway), I may look at rejigging my contract with them. Apart from anything, I'm tied into the second half of a 2-year contract at the moment.

    O2 very helpfully eventually replied to my PM about this specific issue with a "would you consider a different plan?" question. I won't be pursuing any queries via the Talk To forum in future!


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